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1. A small stream, often a shallow or intermittent tributary to a river. Also called regionally branch, brook1, kill2, run.
2. A channel or stream running through a salt marsh: tidal creeks teeming with shore wildlife.
3. Chiefly British A small inlet in a shoreline, extending farther inland than a cove.
up the creek (without a paddle) Informal
In a difficult, unfortunate, or inextricable position.
[Middle English creke, probably from Old Norse kriki, bend.]
n. pl. Creek or Creeks
a. A member of a Native American people formerly inhabiting eastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and northwest Florida and now located in central Oklahoma and southern Alabama. The Creek were removed to Indian Territory in the 1830s.
b. The Muskogean language of the Creek.
a. A Native American confederacy made up of the Creek and various smaller southeast tribes.
b. A member of this confederacy. In all senses also called Muskogee1.
[From the picturesque creeks near which they lived.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.